4.5 CE Credits - Member $90 | Nonmember $135

Target Audience: Neuropsychologists and trainees
Instructional Level: Intermediate

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The Forensic Collection includes the below webinars: 


Forensic Neuropsychological Assessment of Non-English Speakers: What Do We Know and What Do We Still Need to Know?

Paola Suarez, Ph.D.
Diomaris Safi Psy.D
Tedd Judd, Ph.D.
Xavier Cagigas, Ph.D.
Marcel Ponton, Ph.D.
Adriana Strutt, Ph.D. 

The papers in this symposium focus on current forensic neuropsychological practice with non-English speakers, offering perspectives on: 1) ethical and foundational guidance; 2) professional considerations; 3) determining competency to take a case; and 4) distinctive issues in Civil and Forensic cases.  Specific papers will include:
- Ethical foundations and guidance, language assessment, and interpreter use skills
- Deciding whether to take a case
- Performance Validity Testing of Non-English Speakers 
- Civil litigation: Distinctive Issues  
- Criminal work: Distinctive Issues

After the session, participants will be able to:
1. Describe the major professional ethics concerning forensic neuropsychological assessment of non-English speakers.
2. Apply a knowledge framework to detect suboptimal effort on cognitive testing when assessing non-English speakers.
3. Determine when is it justifiable to assess a non-English speaker utilizing an interpreter.
4. Identify the unique factors that might increase the risk of misdiagnosing defendants with intellectual disabilities in criminal cases.

Lead (Pb) Neurotoxicology and Cognition


Michael P. Santa Maria, Ph.D., ABPP-CN
President, Buffalo Neuropsychology

Lead (Pb) is a neurotoxic substance.  While it is widely understood that Pb exposure in early childhood adversely impacts neurodevelopment and intelligence, other aspects of cognition that are negatively affected, and the neuroanatomy and neurophysiology underlying Pb-related cognitive impairment, are not widely appreciated by clinicians.  This lecture gives a broad synopsis of the current literature in the field.  The means by which Pb enters the body, crosses the blood-brain barrier, alters brain structure and function, and consequently impacts measurable aspects of cognition are discussed.  Research is reviewed that relates exposure to Pb at various levels in early childhood to deficits in IQ, academic achievement, executive functioning, and cognition in general.  Clinical disorders associated with childhood and adult Pb exposure, common and uncommon routes of environmental exposure, and potential confounding variables are discussed.  Methods of statistically accounting for these issues are reviewed, with specific discussion of reliance upon existing research and specific individuals’ known blood Pb levels to make reasonable calculations regarding Pb-related compromise of intellectual functioning for individuals in clinical settings.

After the session, participants will be able to:
1. List common means by which Pb enters the body, and explain specific neuroanatomical and neurophysiological changes associated with Pb exposure.
2. Describe the impact of Pb exposure on cognition, particularly IQ, academic achievement, and executive functioning.
3. Compare the consequences of pediatric versus adult Pb exposure.

Testimony that Sticks: Developing a Direct, Engaging Relationship with Jurors


Karen Postal, Ph.D., ABPP-CN
Clinical instructor, Harvard Medical School

This workshop shares the fruits of the Testimony That Sticks project – four years of in-depth interviews with seasoned forensic neuropsychologists and psychologists, as well as attorneys and judges. We will take a deep dive during this session in addressing how experts can develop a productive, direct relationship with jurors through person-centered credibility and engaging, accessible language, and maintain that relationship through cross examination. At its heart, the workshop is about disrupting the academic communication style learned in our years of scientific training that results in a net loss of our ability to communicate clearly and simply about the neuroscience we love. It is about shedding jargon, giving ourselves permission to allow emotion to creep back into our language, freeing up our body language, and using vivid, clear language to create moments of genuine, direct, and productive communication with jurors and other triers of fact.  

After the session, participants will be able to:
1. Revise their goals from explaining neuropsychological assessment results to engaging in a direct, unique, two-way communication with jurors. 
2. Distinguish person-centered credibility (how judges, attorneys, and jurors typically understand credibility) from methods-centered credibility (how academically trained experts understand credibility). 
3. Describe traditional academic communication patterns that prevent jurors from accessing our opinions and diminish our person-centered credibility.
4. Describe and use several disruptive communication strategies (including specific social pragmatics and vivid analogies/metaphors) on both direct and cross examination in order to enable moments of access and engagement with jurors.


Paola Suarez, Ph.D,  Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry & Biobehavioral Sciences, serves as an important member of the HNCE in her role as Co-director of the Cultural Neuropsychology Program. For the past two years, Dr. Suarez has served as a faculty member in the UCLA Department of Psychiatry and as Associate Director of the Cultural Neuropsychology Initiative. She was recently elected Chair of the Culture and Diversity Committee of the National Academy of Neuropsychology.

Diomaris Safi Psy.D,  is a licensed psychologist specializing in neuropsychology and forensic
evaluations. She is fully bilingual in English and Spanish. Dr. Safi has extensive
experience in administering neuropsychological tests, diagnosing and treating
various psychological conditions, and providing case consultation.

Tedd Judd, PhD, ABPP-CN, is cross-cultural clinical and forensic neuropsychologist and consultant with 40 years of experience. He has evaluated clients from about 90 countries and has taught neuropsychology in 25 countries. He is Past President of the Hispanic Neuropsychological Society and a Certified Hispanic Mental Health Specialist. He teaches a practicum in non-English cross-cultural psychology. He is the academic co-director of Central America’s first Master’s degree in neuropsychology at the Universidad del Valle, Guatemala. He is board certified in neuropsychology and a Fellow of the National Academy of Neuropsychology. He offers criminal and civil forensic neuropsychology services. He also offers multicultural consultation, training, and mentoring to other professionals and institutions. He has published one book and over 20 book chapters and articles.

Xavier Cagigas, Ph.D. serves as Associate Director of the HNCE and Co-director of the Cultural Neuropsychology Program. Dr. Cagigas is the Founding Director of the UCLA Cultural Neuropsychology Initiative, Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry & Biobehavioral Sciences, the former Director of Clinical Services & Training of the UCLA Medical Psychology Assessment Center (MPAC), and Immediate-Past President of the Hispanic Neuropsychological Society. 

Marcel Ponton, Ph.D.
is an Associate Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at UCLA. He has led various clinics and services for the County of Los Angeles through Harbor UCLA for over two decades. Currently, he serves at Olive View Medical Center where he trains pre-doctoral and post-doctoral students.  He is the author of multiple peer-reviewed articles and the co-author of two books in the area of cross-cultural neuropsychological assessment. He is a Fellow of the National Academy of Neuropsychology and the Founding President of the Hispanic Neuropsychological Society. He has been working in the field of head injury assessment and treatment for the past 30 years. He is the Clinical Director of Persona Neurobehavior Group in Pasadena where he focuses on the assessment and treatment of head injury patients. He consults with multiple rehabilitation hospitals in Southern California and he serves as an expert witness in medicolegal matters.  

Adriana Strutt, Ph.D.
, Associate Professor, Neurology and Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Baylor College of Medicine. 
Dr. Santa Maria completed his Ph.D. at Louisiana State University then a postdoctoral fellowship in clinical neuropsychology through the State University of New York at Buffalo, Department of Neurology.  He has published peer-reviewed research on topics including traumatic brain injury, and structural and functional brain imaging in multiple sclerosis.  Dr. Santa Maria has handled several hundred forensic cases involving lead (Pb) exposure, and many others involving TBI and other conditions, with regular expert testimony.  In 2018, Dr. Santa Maria published a review of the literature on the impact of lead (Pb) exposure on intelligence, academic achievement, and other aspects of cognition.  Dr. Santa Maria serves as a consultant to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and National Football League (NFL).  He has been in private practice in Buffalo, NY, for the past 19 years and lives there with his wife and three children.

Karen Postal is a past president of the American Academy of Clinical Neuropsychology. She is a clinical instructor at Harvard Medical school where she teaches postdoctoral fellows in neuropsychology. Her research focuses on improving communication about neuroscience with patients and the general public. She is the author of Feedback That Sticks:  The Art of Communicating Neuropsychological Assessment Results and most recently, Testimony That Sticks: The Art of Communicating Psychology and Neuropsychology to Jurors. Dr. Postal also has a private practice dedicated to helping people think better in school, at work, and throughout later life.  (The real bio:  Karen Postal is a bit of a workaholic.  She has two teenage sons and an 11-year-old daughter who is setting the world on fire. She loves to run and recently took up the drums.)